The Importance of Math Practice Over the Summer
There is always a big push from schools and libraries to keep kids’ reading skills sharp over summer break. It is fairly simple to set a goal number of books to read, but what about summer math practice? Preventing the ‘summer slide’, or summer learning loss, with math skills can be more challenging. Most kids don’t want to sit down and complete a packet of worksheets during summer break. So how can you practice math over the summer?
We’re sharing seven fun ways to get some summer math practice. These tasks are easy to incorporate into summer plans and show how math can be applied to everyday life. These ideas can be adapted across elementary grade levels according to your child’s age and skill level. Get started with math skills practice today!
Grocery Store Math
There are plenty of opportunities to practice math at the grocery store, especially with money. Challenge your child to help you stay within a budget as you add items to the cart.
Mention that a package of blueberries costs $3. Ask your child how much three packages would cost. Point out that an individual cup of yogurt costs $0.75 while a 6-pack costs $4. Which is the better deal – buying 6 individual cups or one 6-pack? You get the idea!
You can also try giving your child a calculator and letting them look through shopping catalogs and coupon books. This will also make them feel involved in household errands!
Calculate the Amount of Time Until an Event
This is a simple way to practice elapsed time and planning skills. Ask your child to count how many days until they go to summer camp or the beach, for example. Or, say they are attending a pool party at 3 pm, and it takes 15 minutes to drive there. Ask them what time they should leave home to get there on time. This is an easy way to practice math at home every day, especially if your summer months are busy!
Road Trip Mileage Math
Taking a road trip this summer? Turn it into a math game! Challenge your child to add the planned route’s number of miles to the car’s odometer. Ask them to add up the total number of miles for two legs of your trip. Calculate the number of miles traveled on one highway. There are plenty of possibilities for math that will help pass the time in the car.
Baking or Cooking
Following a recipe is a great way to practice measurements and fractions. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division can also be a part of this activity if you are doubling or splitting a recipe. Plus, you’ll have a tasty treat to enjoy at the end! Get your kids involved in the kitchen.
Record a Plant's Growth
Gardening is already a part of many families’ summer activities. Grow a plant with your child and keep track of its height. You can choose your favorite flowers, such as lilies or sunflowers, or tall vegetable plants, like tomatoes or cucumbers. Have your child record their plant’s height in centimeters or inches regularly, perhaps every three days or once a week. Not only will this activity give your child practice with measuring, but they’ll also be able to calculate how much the plant grew each month and the average growth between measurements. Additionally, gardening is a great outdoor science lesson. Seeing your child’s plant grow as they care for it will be extremely rewarding!
Keep Score While Playing Lawn Games
Lawn games, such as ladder ball or frisbee, are classic activities at picnics and family gatherings! Assign your child the task of keeping score while playing lawn games. This is a particularly great summer math practice for games like corn hole, where different bean bag throws earn different point amounts.
Calculate the Tip at a Restaurant
Going out to eat is something many families do over the summer. Teach your child how to calculate the waiter’s tip when you get the check after the meal. This is a skill that they will use for the rest of their lives!
Make Summer Math Practice Fun
Math practice over the summer doesn’t have to include worksheets or boring math lessons. This practice can happen while playing games, planning a trip, or making dinner. You can prevent learning loss with simple summer math practice at home. Plus, your child will be prepared for new challenges in the next school year!
Looking for more ways to spend time outside under the sun while still practicing math? Try these Summer Math Activities to Get Kids Outdoors!
Did you know that Math & Movement also has summer learning materials? We’re focused on movement and play-based learning year-round for all elementary students! Read more about our summer school programs and the benefits of adding movement.